After making the NBA All-Defensive First Team last season, Boston Celtics guard Avery Bradley has his sights set on an even bigger defensive award for the upcoming year — the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Talking with reporters on Monday, Bradley not only put the DPOY as a goal for himself next season, but he is also confident that he can actually win the award.
Avery Bradley: “That’s my goal, to be defensive player of the year. I feel like it’s possible for me.”
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) August 29, 2016
Bradley has always been confident in his defensive abilities and truly doesn’t care if he gets embarrassed on defense. And before making first-team last season, Bradley was on the 2012-13 All-Defensive Second Team.
There is no doubt that Bradley is one of the best perimeter defenders in the league, but it is tough to see him winning the Defensive Player of the Year award, especially since he is a guard.
Traditionally, the Defensive Player of the Year award is given to big men. The last guard to win the award was Gary Payton in 1996 and before that Michael Jordan won in 1988. Plus, Spurs All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard has won the award the last two years, and at just 24 years old he may keep winning it for the foreseeable future. There are also excellent defenders like DeAndre Jordan and Draymond Green, who will also be in contention.
But while it may be difficult for Bradley to win the award, having the confidence to do so should push him even more so next season. Which you never know, could actually help Bradley achieve his goal.
Source: CBS Sports Headlines / Celtics’ Avery Bradley sets his sights on winning the Defensive Player of the Year